7 years in the past, Cardinal Pell made historical past at Canterbury Cathedral. Nationwide Catholic Register | Coys Information


On July 7, 2015, Cardinal George Pell turned the primary Catholic cardinal to have a good time Mass on the cathedral’s excessive altar for the reason that sixteenth century.

CANTERBURY, England – One among Cardinal George Pell’s lesser-known achievements – one among historic significance that enhanced Christian unity – occurred seven years in the past at Canterbury Cathedral.

The Australian cardinal, who visited the English metropolis well-known for its church historical past, celebrated Mass on the cathedral’s excessive altar on July 7, 2015, turning into the primary Catholic cardinal to take action since Cardinal Reginald Paul, the final Catholic archbishop of Canterbury within the sixteenth century. .

On July 7, a shrine devoted to St. Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was martyred in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 after a bitter battle with King Henry II over ecclesiastical rights, celebrated the anniversary of the consecration in 1220. the Authorities.

After his martyrdom and till 1220, the chapel of St. Thomas was positioned within the crypt of the cathedral, attracting tens of 1000’s of pilgrims a yr and plenty of reviews of miracles attributed to his intercession.

However in 1220, because the variety of pilgrims continued to develop, the chapel was moved to a extra outstanding location: behind the cathedral’s excessive altar. It remained there – drawing crowds of pilgrims and impressing Geoffrey Chaucer. The Canterbury Tales – It was not till 1538 that King Henry VIII utterly destroyed it. Right this moment, nothing however a burning candle stays on the positioning of the cathedral.

The Most Reverend Robert Willis, the previous dean of the Church of England’s Canterbury Cathedral who retired final Could, informed the Register that when he took up the deanship in 2001, he realized of two important dates – Beckett’s martyrdom on 29 December. , and the consecration of the brand new shrine on July 7—now-Anglican Cathedral—and the neighboring St. Thomas Catholic Church had been solemnized and noticed as feasts.

“Throughout my time in Canterbury, December 29 turned a time of pilgrimage for a lot of, and the service commemorating the martyrdom at Vespers at 3pm drew bigger and bigger numbers over time,” Dr Willis recalled. “The clergymen of the cathedral and St. Thomas shared the event, and at 8 p.m. a second vespers was shared, with the clergymen of St. Thomas presiding and the cathedral clergymen within the cave participating. On the website of the unique shrine.”

The consecration of the brand new church behind the excessive altar will probably be celebrated on July 7, the previous dean mentioned. The excessive altar.”

Catholic bishops and clergymen – together with the Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, a part of the Archdiocese of Canterbury – have held mass there earlier than marking the event. However 2015 was “a particular yr,” Dr Willis mentioned, “as a result of Cardinal Pell himself was in Canterbury and celebrated Mass on the Excessive Altar on the night of July 7.”

He mentioned the cardinal already had some reference to town as he inspired annual cricket matches between the Church of England and Vatican groups, which alternated between Rome and Canterbury cricket grounds. The match concerned clergymen and seminarians competing for a silver trophy inscribed with John McCarthy, the brainchild of Australia’s former ambassador to the Holy See.Ut Unum Sint” (that they could change into one).

Different Christian gestures occurred between Canterbury and Rome that yr, together with a mortgage to the present Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, of an historical ivory head related to Pope St. Gregory the Nice, who had despatched Pope St. Augustine to Canterbury. To evangelize the Anglo-Saxon individuals.

In one other historic gesture, Archbishop Welby obtained from the Corpus Christi library in Cambridge the Gospels given to St. Gregory Augustine earlier than he left for England. Insured for £50 million and of incalculable worth to Christian heritage, 2015 marked the primary time in over 1,400 years that the crozier and the Gospels had come collectively.

Then, 5 years later, the Vatican gave the martyr’s blood-stained garment to the cathedral in 2018 to commemorate the 850th anniversary of Beckett’s dying and the 800th anniversary of the brand new shrine. The gestures from Rome had been led by Father Roculloch M, an Australian. -Columbian missionary who spent a few years in Pakistan.

“I felt it was crucial to point out help and encouragement within the context of ecumenism,” Father McCulloch mentioned. Just a few months later.

“All of those moments had been steps in fulfilling our Lord’s prayer for unity in his church, and the cardinal’s Mass in 2015 was a bodily signal of the church’s intention to hunt that unity,” Willis informed the Register.



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